It’s been two years since Covid-19 crept across the globe, battered the U.S. economy and wreaked havoc on health-care systems unprepared to defend themselves against the novel pathogen.
Now, as the latest wave of infections driven by the fast-spreading omicron variant rapidly subsides, many are beginning to question: Is Covid-19 becoming endemic?
“There’s a high probability we’re moving into an endemic setting,” Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ in late February.
But what does it mean when a virus like Covid-19 becomes endemic? That can be unclear—even among global health experts.
“We’re going from the acute phase, the emergency phase, to a chronic phase where we’re going to have to look at long term sustained means of continuing to combat Covid-19,” World Health Organization spokesperson Margaret Harris told CNBC in an interview.
Meanwhile, the Biden administration recently unveiled a 96-page national preparedness plan it thinks will serve as a roadmap to return the nation to more normal routines. The White House’s pandemic playbook is already facing hurdles on Capitol Hill.
Lawmakers in Congress dropped additional Covid funding in their latest $1.5 trillion spending bill. The aid is critical for ensuring future supply of booster doses, antiviral pills, tests and more, according to administration officials.
Watch the video above to find out what it means when a virus like Covid-19 becomes endemic, and how the U.S. is trying to forge its post-pandemic future.